“…based their search on a charge made by [his] estranged wife.” What, no armored vehicles? After tearing up the Georgetown home of businessman Mark Witaschek, police say they found some ammunition — which is unlawful to possess in D.C., even spent shells and casings, unless you are a licensed gun owner — but Witaschek says he is standing on principle and turned down a probation plea. [Washington Times]
Sending fake gunmen into schools as an exercise? Have authorities lost their mind? [Jennifer Abel, Anorak via Brian Doherty]
“…You Must Keep Your Guns Locked Up,” on pain of criminal punishment. At least that’s the import of an odd new California measure signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown. [Eugene Volokh]
Assuming gun ownership should be licensed at all — a big if — there are imaginable scenarios in which a legally blind person might legitimately fire a gun in self-defense or participate in target shooting at a range. Wisconsin is even said to smile officially on hunting by blind persons, presumably to the benefit of those visually impaired who can distinguish partridge sounds in the underbrush from people sounds. To officials in Iowa, however, the issue is pre-decided: “State law bans officials from discriminating against the blind on the basis of their disability, and hence a gun permit cannot be denied solely on that basis, officials tell the [Des Moines Register].” [ABA Journal, Daily Caller [Wisconsin], Lowering the Bar]
Next time someone says big money calls all the shots in American politics, remember that an 8-1 money advantage fueled by Michael Bloomberg and other national donors wasn’t enough to save the seats of two lawmakers who’d helped push a gun-control package through the Colorado Senate, thus infuriating constituents in a marginal Colorado Springs district and in the blue-collar Democratic stronghold of Pueblo. [Denver Post, David Kopel, Volokh Conspiracy, The Denver Channel]
Meanwhile, New York City Democratic primary voters decided against nominating whited sepulcher Eliot Spitzer as the city’s next comptroller, thus foiling Spitzer’s plan to get his hands on billions of pension fund dollars with which to engage in grandstanding and litigation [WABC, Lawrence Cunningham]
P.S. Less happily, voters in Richmond, Calif. are going to let the city administration proceed with a scheme to seize underwater mortgages by use of eminent domain [Daniel Fisher, more, earlier]
Operationally, it may function that way, if Barton Hinkle’s analysis is right. That would at least explain why Mayor Bloomberg would feel confident about his consistency in favoring both, though it leaves unexplained why the left-right polarities in so many other quarters should reverse so sharply between the one issue and the other.
Strong-arming gun makers to act against their perceived business interests, as well as those of their customers:
…in retrospect, there were a few clues that Spitzer was eying a job whose duties include managing the city’s pension funds…
In December, after the school massacre in Newtown, Conn., Spitzer wrote a column in the online publication Slate arguing that pension funds should use their investing clout to pressure corporations such as gunmakers to act in the public interest.
New York City’s comptroller, Spitzer said in the interview, is “a significant player in terms of the pension funds and how those shares are voted. And when I speak with folks about corporate governance, the missing link in all of this has been ownership.”
Eliot Spitzer has long been a key player in efforts to intimidate lawful gun manufacturers through both strained litigation theories and hamhanded attempts at economic pressure. The NYC comptroller’s office, with its sway over billions in pension fund money, would present him with a large sandbox indeed.
David Bosco, assistant professor at American University and contributing editor at Foreign Policy magazine, tweeting about the U.N. international small arms treaty that’s met with intense opposition from some gun-rights groups:
Daniel Fisher explains how new restrictions by Connecticut lawmakers on ammunition sales are having the presumably unintended effect of incentivizing hunting and sporting users of guns to seek concealed-carry permits. [Forbes]
Appropriately safeguarding the Second Amendment shouldn’t mean undermining the First. [Eugene Volokh]